The user conferences that are widely talked about are Autodesk University and SolidWorks World. There are others as well. Siemens PLM Connection is a four day annual user conference organized by PLM World, an independent users group. This year it will be held in Nashville, TN from May 24th to 26th. PTC/USER is another annual user conference organized by PTC/USER, an independent, not-for-profit corporation comprising of volunteers from companies owning PTC products. This year it will be held in Orlando, Florida from June 6th to 9th, 2010.
Attendees need to pay good money to take part in these conferences. The cost of admission to Siemens PLM Connection depends on which parts of the conference you choose to attend, the bare minimum being $995. Admission to PTC/USER sits at $1095. This is besides the cost of travel and accomodation. There are obvious benefits to attending these user conferences which are quite nicely articulated in this “Letter To My Boss” template conveniently provided by PTC/USER.
However, if you want free entry to either of these user conferences, there is a way. While working with these products if you have developed a unique process or time saving technique you can present your idea at the conference and get free admission. You will still need to arrange for travel and accommodation though. Moreover, the fact that you made a presentation at a global user conference like Siemens PLM Connection and PTC/USER can be highlighted in bold on your resume. In my opinion, this can be something of direct benefit to you personally.
If you are interested you can submit an abstract of your idea to the organizers of these events. You will need to hurry though. The last date for submission for PTC/USER is January 8th, two days from today. Whereas, the last date for PLM Connection is January 11th.
Here are the abstract submission links: